CHICAGO -- The Cleveland Indians didn't need much help to match last season's team-record 14-game winning streak, batting .317 and pitching to a 1.86 ERA over the last two weeks.
No. 15 was over almost before it started.
Cleveland jumped all over emergency starter Mike Pelfrey for seven runs in the first three innings and Corey Kluber struck out 13 in seven innings of three-hit ball on Thursday night, helping the Indians win their franchise-record 15th consecutive game, 11-2 over the Chicago White Sox.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Cleveland went deep five times in becoming the first major league team to win 15 straight since the 2002 Oakland A's.
"The winning streak is enjoyable and I think it's got people's attention, which gives me a chance to maybe brag on our guys a little, which I love," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Other than that, we just go play tomorrow.
"The Orioles are already sitting back home waiting for us. We'll have our hands full. It just makes the games a little bit more fun because people are watching and they care."
The right-hander retired 20 of his last 22 batters on his way to double-digit strikeouts for the 14th time this season and 38th of his career.
The White Sox turned to Pelfrey (3-11), who threw 40 pitches in 2 1/3 innings of relief Tuesday, when Carlos Rodon (shoulder stiffness) was scratched about 15 minutes before game time. Pelfrey allowed seven runs and eight hits in four innings.
Rodon will have his shoulder examined Friday.
"Just a little soreness when I was trying to get it going," Rodon said. "Just precautionary stuff. We'll figure it out tomorrow with some pictures and see what happens. It just didn't feel right. I didn't want to mess anything up."
The Indians are the first team to win at least 14 in a row in consecutive seasons since the 1935-36 Chicago Cubs.
"Different years, different players," Kluber said, "but I think the one constant between both of them is good pitching, timely hitting, all that cliche stuff you say it takes to win ballgames."
PITCHING IN A PINCH
Third-string catcher Rob Brantly pitched the ninth inning for the White Sox. He allowed Gonzalez's second homer. He was the first White Sox player whose primary position is catcher to pitch in a game, according to STATS LLC.
Indians: 3B Yandy Diaz (left elbow contusion) departed after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. ... LHP Andrew Miller (right knee tendinitis) is expected to throw off the mound before the start of the series against the Orioles. ... INF Jose Ramirez (sore wrist) was held out of the lineup. Francona said he might miss one more game, but the injury isn't serious. ... OF Jay Bruce (sore neck) was out of the lineup for the sixth straight game.
White Sox: RHP Jake Petricka (right elbow strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. ... SS Tim Anderson (illness) was out of the lineup for the second straight game. ... OF Willy Garcia (concussion) was sent on a rehab assignment to Class A Kannapolis.
Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger (8-5, 3.50 ERA) will take the mound opposite Orioles LHP Wade Miley (8-11, 4.91 ERA) on Friday. Clevinger allowed seven hits while striking out 15 over 12 scoreless innings in his last two starts.
White Sox: Rookie RHP Lucas Giolito (2-1, 2.25 ERA) and Giants LHP Matt Moore (4-13, 5.42 ERA) will square off in the opener of a three-game series on Friday in Chicago. Giolito won his past two starts, allowing a total of one run and seven hits in 14 innings. Moore returns to the rotation after making his first relief appearance since 2011 on Sunday. He pitched two scoreless innings.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
From Jose Altuve to postseason pro Carlos Beltran, there's nothing to suggest the Houston Astros' lineup can be stopped. Then again, the Yankees pitched their way here and have a bullpen full of guys with explosive stuff. Anything can happen in this ALCS.
When Scherzer entered the game before the top of the fifth inning, there was 71.5 percent chance the Nationals would advance to the NLCS. After one insane inning, he took an L that defied the odds.
With Game 5 hanging in the balance in the eighth inning, the Cubs felt there was no reason not to challenge a tag play at first base, which turned out to be a critical decision in their 9-8 win over the Nationals on Thursday.
Mark Teixeira and David Ross break down the Yankees and Astros' tale of the tape ahead of their Game 1 ALCS matchup.
After the Nationals surrender a 4-1 lead with Max Scherzer giving up four runs in relief and Jose Lobaton is ruled out at first on an overturned call in the eighth, as the Cubs fend off the Nationals 9-8 and will face the Dodgers.
With Chicago using four of their starters in Games 4 and 5 against the Nationals, Tim Kurkjian questions who the Cubs can turn to in 48 hours as the NLCS kicks off against the Dodgers.